It’s bacon week at Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen so naturally we have to have a bacon tapa for Tapas Tuesday, right? These are bacon wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo and manchego cheese. It seems a strange combination, but these little guys are the perfect mix of salty and sweet. They’re easy to make — just stuff, wrap, secure with a toothpick and cook. We baked ours in a hot oven, but you could also do them in a skillet.
Chorizo is a Spanish style cured sausage made with pork. It’s not the same as the Mexican chorizo and may be harder to find. Manchego cheese is a sheep’s milk cheese that’s very hard, but still sliceable and slow to melt. Some larger grocery stores will carry them or you can find them online. [Chorizo and Manchego on Amazon(affiliate links).]
Feel free to make whatever substitutions you’d like for your bacon wrapped stuffed dates. Feta cheese or a soft goat’s cheese is a good substitute for manchego (you want to pick one that won’t melt and run out of the dates). Jamón or prosciutto can be wrapped around the dates instead of bacon and any cured sausage can take the place of the chorizo. You can omit the chorizo all together and stuff the dates with a blanched almond if you prefer. (Check out this pin for instructions on how to blanch almonds at home)
- pitted dates (4 per serving)
- one slice of bacon for every two dates
- chorizo and manchego cheese cut into matchsticks
- sturdy toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 450° and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or a thin coating of oil
- Cut the bacon slices in half
- Insert a piece of chorizo or manchego into each date and squeeze the date around the filling to seal as best you can.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around the stuffed date and secure with a toothpick.
- Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 5 - 6 minutes on each side or until the bacon is nice and crisp.
This is a favorite recipe in our house. My favorites are the cheese stuffed dates. Sometimes I’ll omit the bacon and just stuff and eat!
Edit: I’m glad to finally update this post, originally published in 2013. Here are the original photos for archival reasons. I don’t think we have that purple plate anymore, I kind of liked it 🙂